This past May, fellow University of Akron student and chapter President Brian Crisan, and I attended the Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We were among twenty seven other students from various colleges throughout the United States who were awarded a student scholarship to attend the conference. The student scholarship was open to all students currently enrolled in a public or private institutions of higher education, at the graduate or undergraduate level, and who have taken or are taking emergency management related courses. The scholarship contained a conference registration fee waiver, hotel accommodations, and meals included in the conference registration fee with the stipulation that scholarship recipients would commit to volunteering 12 hours as a room monitor or other duties as needed. Room monitor duties included downloading the presenter’s power point presentations onto a USB drive, preparing all sound and electronic equipment, recording attendance, and completing a room monitor report.
Over 1,800 emergency management professionals from a variety of federal, state, and local offices government offices and non-profit organizations attended the conference. The conference consisted of 46 training sessions and 63 workshops in tracks such as business and industry, communications and public information, emergency management, emergency services, health and human services, logistics and resource support, policy and planning, and recovery and mitigation.
As students, we were required to attend: a student roundtable discussion for students to share ways they engage their peers in emergency services related student organizations on campus; a workshop of student presentations on personal research related to the field of emergency management; and a student networking reception to give students the opportunity to mingle and network with various emergency management sector employees.
I also participated in the following training sessions and workshops: Disaster Frontline Supervision conducted by the American Red Cross; a tour of several emergency operation center (EOCs) in South Florida; Post Disaster Redevelopment Planning: How to Dominate in Long Term Recovery; Social Vulnerability and Disaster Preparedness; Great Hurricane Blowout: From Social Media to Grassroots; Disaster Case Management: Empowering Survivors in a Community Near you; Neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Program (NEPP) Grants: A “Whole Community” Resource for Preparing Individuals and Neighborhoods.
The Governor’s Hurricane Conference was a great opportunity for students to not only learn more about the various aspects of Emergency Management, but also an opportunity for students to network with possible future employers they may not have had the chance to meet otherwise. I am very grateful for the experience and highly recommend that students, if given the opportunity, attend the Governor’s Hurricane Conference in 2013. If you would like more information, you can view the Governor’s Hurricane Conference website at www.flghc.org.
Amanda Giovenco is a student in the emergency management bachelor’s degree program at The University of Akron. She was recently appointed to serve as the public relations representative for the UA chapter. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read Brian Crisan’s review of the conference here.